We've got some really big news to announce this Memorial Day. The yellow gold Rolex Day-Date ref. 1803 worn virtually every day by the man regarded by many as golf's all-time greatest player, will hit the Phillips auction block on December 10th in New York. With typical Jack Nicklaus class, the entire proceeds of the sale will benefit a charitable cause for children: the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Established in 2004, the foundation collaborates with leading pediatric hospitals across the United States to support efforts to fight childhood illnesses.
If you're a golf fan of a certain age, then you've almost certainly seen this very watch lifted into the air countless times as the Golden Bear hoisted championship trophies on 18th-hole greens. In fact, it was present as Nicklaus captured 12 of his record 18 major championships. The watch was gifted to Nicklaus by Rolex in 1967, and he has worn it almost daily ever since.
Courtesy of Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Companies
Less than two years ago, the watch was featured on Jack Nicklaus's wrist in his episode of Talking Watches – which, if you somehow missed back then, you should watch right now. I won't spoil this memorable episode, but this Rolex Day-Date "President" is the only wristwatch to appear over its 8-minute duration (other than the watch on Ben's wrist, of course), a first for Talking Watches.
"Jack Nicklaus is the greatest golfer of all time, revered by sports fans around the world," said Paul Boutros, Phillips Head of Watches, Americas. "We are honored to present this superb Rolex Day-Date Reference 1803 in our December auction—the watch that was on his wrist celebrating the many historic milestones that marked his illustrious career."
Courtesy of Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Companies
Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo will have the honor of auctioning this exceptionally important piece of sports history on December 10 during a thematic auction. Starting May 29, Jack Nicklaus's Day-Date will begin a worldwide tour, including a stop at this summer's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where those interested can view it.*It's really anyone's guess how much this watch will sell for, but the opportunity to own the only watch of golf's all-time great doesn't figure to be something that will come cheap.
Top photo: Courtesy of Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Companies*
For more information, visit Phillips.